Destination Budapest

The perfect place for a long weekend or relaxing sightseeing holiday, gorgeous Budapest is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Steeped in history and culture, Budapest is the largest city in Hungary, as well as being its capital.

Known as the Queen of the Danube, Budapest boasts a number of World Heritage Sites including the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue with its Heroes Square and the Millennium Underground Railway.

Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube in 1873 when Buda (west) and Obuda (old Buda) combined with Pest on the east bank. The first connection between Pest and Buda was made by the construction of the magnificent suspension bridge, the Chain Bridge or Széchenyi lánchíd. It is a popular tourist attraction today, as are the many other lovely bridges spanning the Danube. A Danube River cruise is highly recommended when you visit the city.

Also known by some as the City of the Spas, the heart of the city of Budapest is richly endowed with natural springs which are renowned for their various medicinal properties. Some 118 springs supply the city’s spas and baths with water ranging in temperature from 70 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (21-78°C).The Gellert Baths are some of the most beautiful baths to be found in Budapest

Budapest is also referred to as the city of the caves because approximately 200 caves of varying sizes have been discovered under the capital. These caves were formed by the same springs that today supply the thermal baths. The majority were found at the beginning of the 20th century, when buildings were being constructed. There are currently three caves open to the general public.

Budapest’s Roman history is reflected in the fascinating ruins and the Aquincum Museum. These two-thousand-year old ruins are the remains of the Roman town of Aquincum, and include the impressive ruin of the amphitheatre. The museum includes murals, mosaic floors, a reconstructed water organ and a diorama showing what and how the Roman nobility ate.

You can visit the Budapest Statue Park, resting place for the symbolic statues of fallen Communist leaders. After the fall of communism in 1989 all the communist statues around Budapest were moved to the outskirts of Budapest and placed together in this unique display.

No trip to Budapest is complete without taking the famous funicular ride to medieval Castle Hill. The spectacular cable car climbs up Castle Hill from Chain Bridge’s Buda side to Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya). As the cable car rises up the hill you get a beautiful view of Pest across the river.

The castle is well worth a visit and houses the Hungarian National Art Gallery with its unparalleled 360-degree views of the city.

The local cuisine and wine is good. The most famous restaurant is the Gundel which has an opulent dining room adorned with 19th-century paintings. The restaurant offers preparing traditional dishes in an innovative fashion. Gundel is a place to be seen, and most prominent visitors make a point of having at least one meal in Gundel’s when in Budapest.

The Pest part of the city offers a vibrant nightlife, with many clubs, casinos, bars, music clubs and restaurants of all kinds.

With its friendly local residents Budapest offers a welcoming ambiance and a host of sights, culture, arts and entertainment for visitors to enjoy.

Priya Harrison

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